Canada invited 27,332 candidates to apply for permanent residence in its latest Express Entry draw— you read that right.
Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited candidates from the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) on February 13. This unprecedented Express Entry invitation round only required candidates to have a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of at least 75— the lowest CRS requirement ever.
“Today’s draw was almost six times larger than the previous Express Entry record of 5,000 ITAs,” said Attorney David Cohen, Senior Partner of Campbell Cohen.
“This goes to show Canada is committed to achieving its goal of welcoming over 400,000 immigrants this year.”
A total of 5,000 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) were issued in each of the four Express Entry draws that took place between November 18 and December 23 last year. Prior to today, the lowest CRS cut-off requirement ever was 199 points in the May 16, 2017 draw which only invited Federal Skilled Trades Program candidates. Express Entry was launched in January 2015.
On Wednesday, Canada also held an Express Entry draw inviting 654 Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates to apply for permanent residence, that makes a total of 27,986 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued this week.
Today’s draw goes to show IRCC’s commitment to achieving its target of 401,000 new immigrants in 2021. Of those, IRCC is aiming to welcome 108,500 newcomers through Express Entry-managed programs, according to its 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan. Next year that target increases to 110,500, and then to 113,750 in 2023. Canada has given Federal High Skilled programs— which are managed by the Express Entry system— the largest share of new immigrant allocations for the next three years. This means the Express Entry system will continue to be Canada’s main source of new immigrants for the foreseeable future.
Canada’s immigration minister, Marco Mendicino, recently said that IRCC will make efforts to achieve the ambitious immigration targets by transitioning more temporary residents to permanent residents during the pandemic.
The unprecedented draw today seems to indicate that IRCC is aiming to issue as many invitations as it can at the beginning of this year so that it can complete the permanent residence landings of successful Express Entry candidates later in 2021. This would provide IRCC with a greater opportunity to achieve its immigration levels target amid ongoing coronavirus disruptions across the world. At the same time IRCC and Mendicino continue to stress that they will also look to global talent including those currently outside of Canada to support the country’s post-pandemic recovery.